From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Meg Cabot's legions of fans will thoroughly enjoy her latest book (HarperTeen, 2006) focusing on the ever-important teen topic of popularity. The story centers on first-person narrator Steph Landry, so unpopular in her small Indiana town that a minor social faux pas in sixth grade has dogged her footsteps all the way to this first week of her junior year of high school. But now Steph has a secret weapon, a book on popularity she found and has used as a blueprint to design her way into the "It Crowd." At first, the reading of passages from "The Book" can be confusing by breaking into the story line, but soon listeners will realize that the excerpts focus on the coming plot events. In the last few chapters of the novel, "The Book" is replaced by intriguing quotes from famous people decrying popularity as a measure of anything. This mirrors Steph's growing awareness that popularity is really the same as having genuine friendships and the respect of others. Kate Reinders reads the sixteen-year-old point of view with a perfect combination of inflection and tone. A must for Cabot fans.—Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, Painted Post, NY
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Preparing for eleventh grade, Steph studies an old book entitled How to Be Popular
and plots her path into the A-Crowd. Steph's name has been synonymous with klutz
since sixth grade, when she spilled a red Super Big Gulp on a popular girl's white skirt. But when she puts her mind to it, she surprises herself as well as her longtime best friends, Jason and Becca. Soon, though, Steph discovers that the love of her life is not
sitting at the popular kids' table in the school cafeteria. Some readers will carefully study the pages of tips from Steph's guidebook that appear at the beginning of each chapter. But others will find themselves skipping the advice on social graces in order to get on with Cabot's appealing, first-person story of teen yearning, befuddlement, and love. Despite the scenes when Steph spies on next-door neighbor Jason in his bedroom at night, there's an appealing innocence about the story, which depicts the main characters within their extended families as well as with their peers. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.